Living by Faith Versus Living by Emotion
"A sound mind makes for a robust body, but runaway emotions corrode the bones." -Proverbs 14:30 (The Message)
We tend to live by emotion in our culture. "Just do what feels right," seems to be the general norm. Many of our thoughts about right and wrong are based on our emotions -- on what we perceive is right, or wrong. When someone hurts us, we stand on the perceived reality that they "hurt our feelings." Sometimes we imply a motive behind others' actions which causes us to wrongfully judge them instead of asking about their intentions. We fail to use discernment to see if the wound had a deeper root from something from our own past or even theirs. And then, we often do not do the even deeper work to discover and let God restore and heal what's broken through the power of forgiveness.
Faith, although a substance like emotion, is different from emotion. Faith comes as a response to God's words that knows that what the Bible says is true. It is a response to situations which says, "My God is in control. I choose to believe."
When we live by emotion, it's like our faith hasn't fully taken root in our hearts. It hasn't yet extended to those situations that make us upset. Jesus described it in this way: "The seed cast in the gravel - this is the person who hears and instantly responds with enthusiasm. But there is no soil of character, and so when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it." -Matthew 13:20
Character is what we do when no one else is looking. It's also what we do in the midst of challenge. Do we bend and fold, or are we able to stand strong on the foundation of our faith? Living by faith ensures a firm foundation. Although it is natural to feel emotion, we should not make decisions based on our emotion. We should make them based on our faith.
"The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock." -Matthew 7:25
Let us be like the house on that firm foundation of faith, as we place our faith and trust in God with whatever difficulties come our way -- no matter how we feel.
Related resource: Living Beyond Your Feelings: Controlling Emotions So They Don't Control You by Joyce Meyer